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Projecting the Postseason Roster

With the news that Javier Vazquez is out of the rotation for the forseable future, here's a quick, early take on what the Yankees' postseason roster might look like:

1B - Mark Teixeira (S)
2B - Robinson Cano (L)
SS - Derek Jeter (R)
3B - Alex Rodriguez (R)
C - Jorge Posada (S)
RF - Nick Swisher (S)
CF - Curtis Granderson (L)
LF - Brett Gardner (L)
DH - Lance Berkman (S)


R - Marcus Thames (platoon DH)
R - Austin Kearns (OF)
S - Ramiro Peña (IF)
R - Francisco Cervelli (C)


L - CC Sabathia
L - Andy Pettitte
R - A.J. Burnett
R - Ivan Nova/Phil Hughes


R - Mariano Rivera
R - Kerry Wood
R - David Robertson
R - Joba Chamberlain
L - Boone Logan
R - Phil Hughes/Ivan Nova
R - Javier Vazquez

That's 24 men and based on the assumption that Nick Swisher's knee and Brett Gardner's wrist will allow them to field and bat, respectively. If not: oof. Flat-footed outfield assists aside, the Greg Golson/Colin Curtis platoon in right is the thing of my nightmares, and Austin Kearns is five for his last 41 (.122).

So who's the 25th man? Chad Moeller would give Girardi some flexibility in making late-game substitutions, which seems like a bad thing/total waste of a roster spot. Golson offers defense in all three pastures and pinch-running. Juan Miranda is a compelling lefty bat. I'd rather see him pinch-hit than anyone not on the above list of 24, but given his late call-up and lack of exposure since, I don't think he's being seriously considered. Besides which, Miranda would be a hitter only as the Yankees don't really need a fourth option at first base when Mark Teixeira is number one. Eduardo Nuñez offers in the infield what Chad Moeller offers behind the plate, albeit with his primary asset being his empty batting average at the plate rather than his work in the field.

I'm guessing Golson for now, particularly with Swisher and Gardner hobbled. I don't think an eighth pitcher is necessary given the off-days in the schedule and two starters in a seven-man pen, though if Nova makes the rotation, Hughes might be used more in short-relief outings, clearing some room for one from the Bermuda Triangle formed by Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, and Dustin Moseley, and thus leaving the cover off the panic button. Given the Yankees' handling of Jonathan Albaladejo this year, I don't think he's being seriously considered, either, but lefty Royce Ring, who was just added to the 40-man roster and called up to the majors, could slip in as a second lefty as an injury replacement for Damaso Marte.

So while the Yankees and Rays battle it out for the division and home-field advantage, it seems Hughes and Nova are battling for the fourth spot in the postseason rotation, and the marginal players on the roster are all fighting for that 25th spot on the postseason roster. That's something to keep an eye on over these final three weeks.